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Before

Irini Spanidou

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Description

From the author of God's Snake, and Fear comes a stunning novel that shines light on what it means to be beautiful, and to be possessed—by oneself, and by others.

The setting is 1970s New York City, a time and place of creativity, sexual freedom, and unforeseen dangers. At its center is Beatrice, who is twenty-five, mesmerizingly lovely, intelligent, and married to Ned, a volatile painter whose obsession with her has turned to hatred. Beatrice is desired by everyone around her: by Faye, her seductive, bawdy childhood friend; by Cyril, a lonely, charismatic Vietnam veteran; by Chris, a young heroin addict. And then there is Perkins, the oddly threatening man next door.

An intoxicating mix of desire, longing, and menace, Before captures a dizzying time in America.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

May 07, 2007 – The evocative third novel from Spanidou (Fear) centers uneasily on a group of late 1960s New York bohemians over the course of several tense months. Beautiful, delicate Beatrice, 25, dropped out of Barnard to marry Ned, a hard-drinking painter with coarse ways and little respect for his lovely, emotionally remote wife, who supports them as a book editor's assistant. The SoHo of their downtown loft is menacing; their motley assortment of friends move in and out of their lives depending on happenings and their attraction to Beatrice as an obscure, unattainable object of desire. The friends include Beatrice's childhood friend, Faye, a singer and rising TV actress who is as sensuous and sarcastic as Beatrice is cerebral; Colin, the deep-feeling, independently wealthy young man who lives downstairs; and Cyril, Ned's Vietnam vet brother, determined to replace feeling with making money. Next door, an ex-con returns from prison and on his doorstep appear a parade of doped-up adolescent boys waiting for their next hit. Beatrice's life unfolds sadly as the It Girl is doomed to implausible notions of love and little sense of self-worth, both tied deftly by Spanidou to Beatrice's 1950s upper-middle-class upbringing. Restrained and sparely episodic, Spanidou's novel is at once haunting and immediate.
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Jul 17, 2007
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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